10 Tips for Keeping Weight Off During the Holidays

Keeping Weight Off During the HolidaysThe holiday season is arriving, and so are many opportunties to derail your weight loss plans. So make sure you have a strategy to keep from adding extra weight during the holidays.

In fact, if you’re determined and have the right help, you can keep losing weight. Give us a call at (808) 551-4348 for a free consultation if you’re in Hawaii and need some help with that.

Yes, it’s a social season, and between office parties and family get-togethers there’s always temptation, but you don’t have to lose control during the holidays and face the New Year with regret. Here are 10 tips for keeping weight off during the holidays.

Never Arrive Hungry

Be sure to make the time for a nutritious snack and a glass of water before you leave. Even a serving of Greek Yogurt or an apple with a cheese stick can make you feel much more in control when you arrive at the buffet table. Remember that old adage about not spoiling your supper? Spoil it. Your goal is not to feel ravenous when the food is served.

Socialize More

Use this opportunity to find out what everyone has been up to. Ask lots of questions and listen well to the answers. The event you’re attending doesn’t have to be all about food. Enjoy the people, mix more, dance… don’t hover at the buffet.

Don’t “Taste” Too Much When Cooking

If you’re the cook, tasting still counts as eating. Of course it’s legitimate to check the amount of salt or spice in a dish, but don’t be nibbling the whole time you’re in the kitchen. Some find chewing minty gum helps.

Control Portions

Take a little. Tell yourself, and others, that you can always come back for more. Don’t stack your plate, and choose some of the healthier choices. Learn to say no politely, and if your host is insistent, simply leave food on your plate. Maintaining your health is a more important choice in the moment than avoiding waste, or even hurt feelings. Simply tell them it was delicious, but you are full.

Pace Yourself

Chew slowly, and take your time eating over the course of a party. Take small bites and enjoy the taste and texture of each one. You don’t have to load your fork, or even cover it. A half-forkful at a time is plenty, so take your time. Feel in control – and put your fork down for a moment if you don’t.

Watch Out for Sauces and Dips

Sauces and dips often hide a lot of calories, so use them scantily if at all. Remember to avoid them if you’ve chosen a gluten-free diet to help you lose weight, unless you know exactly what they contain.

Limit Alcohol

It’s not just the carbs and calories in alcohol – although there can be lots. It’s ensuring you don’t get out of control and wake up the next day with regrets. Get a glass of water or club soda that you can sip at. If you must have alcohol, choose a lower-calorie option such as wine or a wine spritzer. Definitely avoid the full-fat eggnog, which is 321 calories per serving compared to wine at 123 calories.

Be Careful at Dessert Time

You can meet family pressure with “I’m full, so I may try a little later.” If you want to try a dessert that is a special treat for you, keep the portion small and your weight loss goals in mind. Fresh fruit is often available and can be a good choice. If you’re going to a friend’s party, you could even bring a low calorie treat from home to substitute.

Take a Walk After Dinner

Try to get the family to join you for a family walk. You’ll feel better, and burn off a few of those extra calories. When your body feels you using the food you just ate as fuel, it won’t start immediately storing it for later as fat.

Try To Get Some Quality Sleep

Decorating, shopping, guests, entertaining and going to parties can be exhausting. Research on sleep is clear – if you get less than 5 hours, you’ll have lower levels of leptin, which is a hormone that controls how full you feel, compared to someone who gets 8 hours or more. You’ll also have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. What this means is that when you’re exhausted, you’ll feel hungrier and less satisfied after eating. That’s not going to set you up to achieve your weight loss target, so be sure to make some time for sleep if weight loss is a priority for you.

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3 Responses to 10 Tips for Keeping Weight Off During the Holidays

  1. Alexander April 24, 2014 at 5:58 am #

    “Never arrive hungry” This is one of the things I do follow every single day I go to someone’s place! I also drink water before eating so that I do not eat a lot more than I should have. Sometimes I feel that my body is really asking for water while I’m perceiving it as hunger. So as soon as I drink a glass of water I feel a lot better.

    I also go by the saying of the Chinese people that say “only eat until you are 80% full” and I feel a lot better than eating 100% or more. I used to do that but not anymore. When eating 100%+ I was feeling bad afterwards and I usually needed to rest. Now I eat less and I have a lot of energy when finishing.

  2. rubydust July 12, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    Thank you for sharing these practical tips. I think the majority of us find it difficult not to over eat during the holiday season. Then there are the extra calories from all those party drinks.

    There’s often a lot of pressure to consume more than you should at social events. The host feels like they are being hospitable by encouraging you to partake in the food and drinks on offer, while it feels impolite to constantly refuse their offers.

    I hadn’t realised that lack of sleep can influence your weight, so this is useful for me to keep in mind.

    • DrBruce July 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

      You’re welcome, Rubydust. I’m glad you found them helpful. Sleep is VERY important for weight loss. You might want to try searching for cortisol in the site search to get more information.

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